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Crucial M4 vs. M500

Given the combined expertise of Crucial and Micron regarding the use of semiconductors and physical media, the partnership's venture into the world of solid-state hard drives was certainly a natural one. Recognized amongst the earliest pioneers of SSD technology, two of their solid-state hard drives, the Crucial M4 and M500, have already earned their rank amongst some of the best drives available on the consumer market today.

Crucial M4

The Crucial M4 series of SSDs debuted in 2011, which is relatively early in terms of solid-state technology. Leveraging Micron's expertise with RAM, SDRAM, flash memory and other solid-state forms of storage, Crucial became a dominant name amongst the earliest SSD users. With storage capacities at 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB, there are plenty of options available in the M4 line.

Every model within the Crucial M4 series of SSDs is ranked with a random read performance of 40,000 IOPS and a random write performance between 20,000 IOPS and 50,000 IOPS. Each drive is able to read sequential data at a rate of up to 415 MB/s, while the higher-end SSDS, including the 256 and 512 GB models, can perform sequential data writing at a speed of up to 260 MB/s. The M4's 64 GB model is capable of writing sequential data at a rate of up to 95 MB/s, while the 128 GB model can write sequential data at a speed of up to 175 MB/s.

Crucial M500

Using the original M4 drive as a launching point, the development team at Crucial released the M500 solid-state hard drive in 2013. Two years of development proved to be more than enough time to make significant upgrades to the technology, and the M500 marks the first terabyte drive within Crucial's entire SSD line. While their terabyte drive technically only offers 960 GB of usable hard drive space, this is a vast increase over previous drives.

Available in capacities of 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB, Crucial's M500 drives have a random read performance between 62,000 IOPS and 80,000 IOPS with a random write performance that ranges from 35,000 IOPS to 80,000 IOPS. Each drive is capable of reading sequential data at a rate of 500 MB/s, and the high-end drives in the M500 line can even write sequential data at a speed of up to 400 MB/s. Their lower-end SSDs are slightly slower when it comes to writing, with the 120 GB model coming in at 130MB/s and the 240 GB drive writing at a speed of 250 MB/s.

In Conclusion

While the drives featured in Crucial's M4 series are much more affordable than the M500, their capacities are greatly limited. Both series of drives are compatible with SATA 3 and SATA 6 interfaces, as well as the standard form factor of 2.5 inches, so the deciding factor really comes down to price and storage capacity. If the majority of your personal files are stored on an external drive or server, then a SSD with a smaller capacity will suffice. On the other hand, if you are looking to transfer all of your files to solid-state storage, the Crucial M500 is the clear winner.

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